As if confidence in the police wasn't already on very shaky ground, as if South Africans don't have enough to worry about comes the news that bogus coppers are doing the rounds. Is this a new crime trend? Maybe. It has been seen before but is it me or are these incidents becoming more frequent?
I figure crims have cottoned on to a new crime tactic and are making hay while the going is good. Crime is like a balloon I always say, squeeze one side and it bulges elsewhere but the balloon size remains the same. If crims find it hard going say, blowing up ATMs they will simply move on to something else. The question now arises how did the crims get their hands on the uniforms? Or, are some cops moonlighting?
Important: Click here to read what to do if you suspect the cops may be bogus. These steps may save your life.
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Two Pretoria businessmen were on Wednesday robbed of thousands of rands destined for their employees by thugs posing as metro police officers.
The robbery comes days after a man was arrested on Saturday while manning a roadblock in Silverton, wearing a full Tshwane Metro Police uniform.
Another one was nabbed during a crime operation in Eersterus, with metro police uniforms and equipment, including night vision goggles.
On Wednesday the robbers launched their attack moments after the businessmen, who run a construction company in Soshanguve, had withdrawn R40 000 in cash to pay their workers.
Police said as the businessmen drove along Paul Kruger Street, they noticed an unmarked car driving behind them after the driver flashed his headlights at them.
The men are said to have stopped after they became worried when the motorist continued flashing his vehicle's headlights at them.
Police spokesperson, Captain Matthews Nkoadi, said when the men stopped, the driver of the car which had been flashing at them stopped behind them, and got out along with his passenger.
"The men split up with one walking to the driver's side of the businessmen's car while the other walked to the passenger side.
"While the man on the driver's side of the car distracted one of the businessmen by pretending to be a metro police officer conducting a routine vehicle check, his accomplice pulled out a gun and ordered the men to hand over their money," he said.
He said the men then tied their victims to each other and the steering wheel with cable ties before fleeing with the money.
Nkoadi said when police arrived on the scene and questioned the men, they discovered that the suspects had conned their victims into believing that they were metro police officers.
They had produced metro police appointment certificates.
"When the businessmen saw the appointment certificates they relaxed their guard.
"That was when one of the suspects pulled out a gun and held the men up," he said.
Tshwane Metro Police spokesperson, Walter Manaka, said the latest incident was serious cause for concern.
"We are worried about how criminals are getting their hands on our uniforms and equipment," he said.
He added that they would deal harshly with any officer caught selling Tshwane Metro Police uniforms and equipment.
"Police officers who do this are no better than the criminals themselves because they are aiding and abetting the commission of crime when they should be upholding the law," he said.